Originally written and posted in January 2011, soon after its predecessor, "How Trevor Linden Sold Out" post. Once again, the writing has been left in its original form, so some facts will be outdated... But the passion will not!
OK, OK, I get it... People in Vancouver loooooove Trevor Linden. I know, I'm from here. So I expected a few people to be a little ticked off with me for recently writing a blog titled "How Trevor Linden Sold Out".
But, like any great story, there is always a pre-story; the prequel that provides you with greater insight into the original saga and how things came to be. Batman had Batman Begins. James Bond had Casino Royale. And Star Wars had (however unfortunately) Episodes 1, 2, and 3. This, my friends, is the Hobbit to my Lord of the Rings.
It all started in 2007. A company named clearly contacts (aka coastal contacts) that sells contact lenses online, had a lawsuit filed against them in BC Supreme Court because they were breaking the law by not requiring their customers to present valid prescriptions before ordering contacts. The law in all Canadian provinces and US states is that all patients must have a valid prescription and the online company must confirm it with the eye care professional who provides it.
This rule is in place to help prevent the misuse and incorrect fitting of contact lenses which can lead to serious, potentially vision threatening complications.
In 2009, the courts made a decision. clearly contacts must start abiding by the law OR have it changed. They decided to pursue the latter.
In 2010, Health Minister Kevin Falcon created new legislation that allowed online sales without the requirement of a prescription from an eye care professional. I can hear the gasps... He did what?? He changed the rules, with no regard for public health, to suit the needs of one corporation.
Apparently, Health Minister Falcon believed that buying contacts and glasses for cheaper was in the public's best interest, but having regular eye health examinations was not. Are these the types of decisions a HEALTH minister is supposed to be making?
MLA Adrian Dix put it well when he said "Health Minister Kevin Falcon will lower eye care standards to satisfy the commercial interests of one company, ignoring the open opposition from the Canadian National Institute of the Blind, physicians, and several health professional bodies..."
How is it possible that British Columbia is the only place in North America that is satisfied with these third world standards of health care? We often refer to American health care as an example of a flawed system, one that does not promote wellness and disease prevention. But now Americans (and other Canadians) are looking at us and wondering how or why we would possibly allow our standards to be lowered in such a way. The answer, my friends, is money.
That last point to resonates quite loudly in recent news articles which shed light on some large endorsements that the "honorable" Kevin Flacon has been receiving from a certain online company. *Cough* clearly contacts *Cough*
By the way, this person is planning on becoming the next Premier of British Columbia.
So, What About Trevor Linden?
Our captain joined clearly contacts as their spokesperson in 2010. Please refer to the original conversation in "How Trevor Linden Sold Out" for more information.
Someone recently said to me "...that's what celebrities and athletes do. Companies give them money to promote their product, and they do it... what's the big deal?"
Is that not the definition of selling out? Doing something ethically questionable for money. Especially when the very thing you are promoting is ultimately causing a decline in the overall well being and quality of care in the same community that has raised you and embraced you as its hero and idol.